for sustainable development

The Institute for Social-Ecological Research

ISOE is an independent institute that develops social-ecological concepts for sustainable development. As an innovative scientific think tank we undertake transdisciplinary research for society, policy makers and industry – providing support for sound decision-making processes. more


Solution strategies for reducing plastics in rivers and lakes


Large quantities of microplastics are found not only in oceans, but also rivers and lakes are affected. However, little is known about the entry paths and occurring quantities with respect to inland waters. Since September 2017, the PLASTRAT research project has been investigating entry paths,...more


Water management for large cities – Example Coimbatore in South India

Purified water flows into a channel in the secondary clarifier

With 1.7 million inhabitants on about 250 square kilometers, Coimbatore is one of India's typical urban agglomerations. The population of the industrial city in the south of the country is estimated to grow by more than half over the next three decades. Securing water supply and wastewater disposal...more


UN World Water Day 2018 “Nature for Water”: Solutions for the global water crisis to be found (also) in nature

Planted facade

Can solutions to global water problems lie in nature itself? With this year’s motto for the World Water Day on 22 March, the United Nations is focusing on so-called nature-based solutions. This includes nature conservation measures that protect ecosystems and drinking water resources. ISOE –...more


The world as a laboratory: experimental formats for transdisciplinary sustainability research

Cover GAIA Special Issue "Labs in the Real World"

Research formats such as real-world laboratories (RwL) are still relatively new, but are becoming increasingly popular. In the transdisciplinary sustainability research community, they have already initiated an important debate on whether and how it is possible to experimentally accelerate social...more


ISOE-Lecture: Social Ecology – Integrative Science for a Complex World

ISOE-Lecture WS 2017/18

In the winter semester of 2017/2018 ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research is continuing its series of “ISOE-Lectures”. The topic of the coming lecture is the role of social ecology in the USA and within the international discourse on global social-ecological challenges. If complex...more


Klimaschutz kommunal umsetzen – Implementing climate policies at the local level. How climate action can succeed in cities and municipalities

Cover "Klimaschutz kommunal umsetzen"

How can cities and municipalities contribute to climate mitigation? What are the municipal institutions, actors and processes that matter? Which areas of activity and which approaches show promising results? These are the questions addressed in this anthology of Ecornet. In the book, researchers...more


Article by ISOE authors in the Top Ten selection of the International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management

Transdisciplinary biodiversity research

The global loss of biodiversity is continuing – despite numerous initiatives and programmes for biodiversity. A lack of action is often mentioned as its possible cause. In the article "Halting biodiversity loss: how social-ecological biodiversity research makes a difference" Marion Mehring and...more

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Institute report 2017

Institute report 2017
Download (pdf, 3 MB, German)